with 2 edits (so far). . . .

I was inspired by cerwindoris this week to get my speedlight out again.  I’ve been scared of it.  You see, I am not the type of person who feels comfortable with electronics. . .(is a speedlight an electronic?). . .whenever I have a piece of new equipment like my camera or the speedlight, my hands start to shake and I have the manual out and I have to do everything just so, feeling all the while like I’m certainly NOT doing it right.  I get all worked up about it.  So the speedlight was used ONE time and then back in the box in went until today!

So thanks, Doris, for the little push that you didn’t even know you gave me!

Here are the pictures I took with it this morning:

I interrupted their Bible reading to take this one.  As you can see, our map has been covered up by my china cabinet.  I keep meaning to take it down. . .  There is still a Christmas wreath up behind Jacob, too.  I like it there.  Rich did the curtain rods for me as a surprise last year when I was away for a weekend (I think it’s time for another weekend getaway, btw)

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And here is David with no shirt, and Caleb is next to him.  They are playing a veggietales computer game in my room.  You can see a mug from yesterday’s tea, a ponytail holder from me taking out my hair.  See the small calender?  The picture above it is a picture of me at about 4 years old, and I am holding a cat.  I love looking at little me. . .I’ve always liked kitties.  The quilt you see in the bottom right hand corner is something Rich’s Grandma made.  I use it to cover the printer.

(oh my –at this moment, rain is coming down HARD, dark clouds are blowing across the sky and I can hear blustery wind. . .)

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Here is a picture of part of our bedroom:

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I wanted to show Aunt Mary the wall hanging that I bought at her party a while ago.  We hung it up over my dresser.  It’s supposed to have a pillar candle in it, but instead I put these in:

DSC_6774  Cherries!

 

This picture is for roseteacup.  When I was feeling bad a few weeks ago, she encouraged me to do something creative.  I had some bulbs that I never got in the ground this fall, and they were beginning to sprout in the package.  I had Jacob go in the woods to get me some nice dirt (it was the week of our Jan. thaw) and planted some in containers.  Now, I get to watch them grow.  I wish I could tell you what these are, I think they are crocus.  I also planted mini-daffodils and tulips.

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Last but not least, a picture of me and Grace.  I think her ripped out jeans are so so so so cute!

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I’m pretty blah today.  I actually spent some time this morning in tears. . .I’m stressed out with my duties.  I cannot understand how women homeschool multiple children, along with being mommy to preschoolers.  I feel very very overwhelmed.  Lately I haven’t been able to enjoy making dinners, the past 2 days we’ve had pasta w/hamburger spaghetti sauce.  The dinner dishes are always left in the sink over night.  The dishwasher is constantly running, or waiting to be emptied.  There is always laundry going.  I went through the motions this morning, getting more and more stressed out.  I cannot let the house go, I have to have it halfway decent. . . .so I spend time cleaning only to have it messy again and again.  Yes, the kids help but I’m in charge, ya know? Is this the constant lament of the homeschooling mother?  I was making the kids their little game cards for their “Africa” geography game this morning, feeling actual ANGER that I didn’t even know how to pronounce most of the countries!  How am I supposed to know?  I frankly don’t even want to know!  I’ve managed to survive the first 31 years of my life without knowing all the countries in Africa!!!!!

I have sick kids this week, too.  Caleb woke up this morning with a fever and runny nose. . it’s the same thing that Jacob and Ethan are getting over.  But that’s the life of a mother. . .we’re nurse and housecleaner and cook and and and and. . . . .

I was standing by the kitchen table earlier, ready to blow, just standing and staring. .frozen, when all of a sudden the phone rang.  It was my friend Kathy. . . . .

boy did she get an earful!  It’s nice to have a friend that can listen to it all. . and that was just what I needed, to talk it out.

So.  We’ve done half a day of school and now is lunch time.  After lunch we will finish school.  The kids are thrilled because they read in my teacher’s manual that we get to make animals out of dough!!!!!!!!  We have NO DOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can’t dash their hopes so I will be making the dough.  HURRAY!  Another pot to wash!  LOL  To say nothing of the dough animals.  They’ll be hanging around for a few days, only to be tossed in the garbage.

I could go on but I won’t. . .

 

I need to spend a long time on my knees today. . . . .

 

EDIT–just want to say that the sun came out!  I was so happy I yelled “look out the window!!”. . .also, I d
ecided to have some fun at some point today filling out my valentines.  My party is Saturday!

 

Edit #2– Friends, I just had something so sweet happened!  I just went to get the mail and there was a card for “Grace and Family” from a strange address.  I could not believe my eyes when she opened the card!  A few years ago, when we sold our previous home, we also had a litter of kittens we were desperately trying to find homes for.  Grace was 6 at the time, and helped give one away.  Listen to this card:

“Dear Grace and family,

I’m not sure if you remember me but I was a real estate appraiser that came to your home in 2006.  I remember Grace as an amazing and persuasive child who made sure I took home a kitten named ‘Daisy’.  We renamed her in honor of Grace and my daughter’s middle name.  This beautiful feline has blessed our family in so many ways.  My husband became gravely ill shortly after we met and that little kitten has been such a wonderful cuddle shoulder for my kids.  We are all well now but I did want to thank you and let you know what an impact that day had on our family.  God bless.”

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Amazing Grace!

 

0 thoughts on “with 2 edits (so far). . . .

  1. Shanda, dear, please re-read your yesterday’s post ~ spring IS coming and school WILL stop for the summer and the sun WILL shine again.  How about a teacher’s in-service day tomorrow?  That means NO SCHOOL for kids and time for teacher to catch her breath and do some kind of in-service (whatever that is) maybe serving the inner part of teacher??  LOL!  Do you want my phone number? ~ I’m a good listener and I’ll help you laugh or blow steam or whatever you need ~    Great photos, by the way. 

  2. Oh Ms. Shanda… Hang in there! I have no advice to give when it comes to being a homeschool mom, beacuse, well, I’m not one! But I am really busy with a job and classes and chores and other activities, and I feel so overwhelmed sometimes. How am I supposed to do excell in my classes while working a part time job to pay for college and doing  so many other things?! It feels like the days are not long enough… but God’s Grace is longer and deeper and wider… and he’ll give us  both strength. No mattew how low we sink, God’s arm is long enough to reach down and scoop us out.
    Praying for you!
    and thanks for being so honest in your post

    love and hugs – beth

  3. I love the pictures! And, although I only have one child (with one on the way!!), I feel like I can empathize with you. I am not even homeschooling, but I feel that way a lot of days, as if I am just playing catch up to have all of my efforts “ruined” within a few hours of catching up. I think mine might be winter blahs/morning sickness/hormonal issues, but I understand at least in part how you feel!! If you get it figured out, let me know! πŸ™‚ Thanks for keeping your blog so real.

  4. I have been feeling the same way lately, especially the last few days.  With the dishes, dinner, cleaning, school….all of it.  I just don’t know how to do it all.  And then I think of the baby coming in August and I really don’t know how I’ll do it then.  It was so nice reading your blog today and knowing that I’m not alone. 
    The pictures are great.  Your house is just lovely. 
    Saying a prayer for you. =]

  5. I soooo want to reach out thru this keyboard and give you a big hug! I know exactly how you are feeling…i’ve been there, done that more times than i can count. I remember so very well when my children were 12, 10, 8, 6 and 2, shutting my bedroom door, throwing myself on my bed and just crying hard. I felt so overwhelmed, so incapable, so like a failure. I would cry out to God and ask him why, why, why He wanted me to homeschool on top of everything else. My children are now 20, 18, 16, 14 and 11 and it has been several years since I have been that full of despair. Oh, there are many days when I feel overwhelmed, but not that sense of utter hopelessness. All of this to tell you that there is hope, not everyday will be like this and it most definitely helps to take a school break. Your children will not become failures overnight if you take a little break. In fact, it will benefit them and you and most probably you will be a better mom because of it. Every now and then, I let the children sleep in so I can have an extra hour in the quiet mornings with my Bible and my Jesus. It doesn’t hurt to pare your school hours down a little. The other thing I did when my children were younger was to cut out all extra social activities. It was hard to accept for awhile, but it got better when I saw the benefits outweigh the busyness. There will come a time in my life when I can add some social events into my calendar again. Meanwhile, I’ll be praying for you… *hugs*

  6. I would have a lot more days like this if my boys couldn’t go out afternoons with their Dad. Last week when we were all half sick I decided not to sweat it. We only did the bare bones. Now I need to go since there is a loud noise of banging doors and rough housing boys all through the house! I am so ready for Spring.

  7. I know I’ve told you before that us guys just don’t understand; we sympathize but I know we can’t completely understand what you are going through. I can say that all of us dads appreciate that you homeschool moms commit your life to molding our children into Godly young men and women. Please don’t forget that. And if your still down check out the video on my blog. It should have you rolling.
    God Bless You!

  8. That sunshine made my day, too. It was so gloomy this morning. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed. I find myself there often. And I often feel very real anger when all the work I’ve been doing is destroyed instantly by two rambunctious children. I’m glad you got that card today. It was just what you needed. I’m so glad that family got to have a touch of Grace. :)I went out today to get a few things for Saturday. I’m looking forward to it. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you need anything. Don’t feel overwhelmed planning for the party. We won’t care if your house isn’t perfectly clean, believe me. πŸ™‚

  9. lovely photos and what a fun nudge from a friend unaware!  be encouraged and try not to let these blue moments get to you.  people used to tell me this when mine were small and i so wish they were small again! πŸ™‚  i see it all so clearly now.  these truly are the most precious moments of your life with them.  πŸ™‚                

  10. I think we all want to be superwoman. God put in us a desire to love and serve our husband and kids. He put in us a desire to have a visually pleasing home. He put in us an awareness of our huge and highly important responsibilities. In our humaness, we want to “do it all”. But the truth is, we can’t. In fact we can’t do anything. Zilch. We can’t even breathe without assistance. But the GOOD news is “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” “He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak.” “My grace is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”
    What an amazing story about how God used Grace!
    Hmmm… I think I need to figure out what a speedlight is. I think I’d like to add that to my photograhpy wishlist. The lighting looks great in all your photos.

  11. oh, Praise God, I’m so glad He sent a bit of sunshine your way!  I don’t have an answer for you on how to manage the whole lot you have on your plate, but He does!  So hang in there, and like I said on my post yesterday, “that’s what friends are for, right”  to lift us up and hear us out in our good times and bad….

  12. oh, I meant to comment on your speedlight….I have a “generic brand” Bower, that’s suppose to be just like a speedlight,  and I’m really getting to like it, especially the bouncing light off the ceiling, etc…have fun snapping away, and these pics look great~  love your cherries!

  13. I love the pictures, very cute.  I’m glad you had an uplifting moment to your day.  I have no speedlight, though I suppose I should wait til I get my new camera, anyway.  I hope you have a good day, and as Cathi said, please let us know if you need anything, or want us to bring anything.

  14. The pictures are so good!!!   You do a wonderful job.   You know I have felt this way many, many times.    It does get overwhelming.   I’m so glad you were able to get a lift in your day by getting the nice card with picture!  That is awesome!

  15. We woke up to rain, but the sun has come out this afternoon!  I get depressed with the rain too, although I know it’s a necessary thing.  (HUGS) and just know that others out there are going thru some of the same feelings and trials that you are.  Love the pictures, and what a wonderful surprise in the mail!!!  As for a getaway, wanna come to the beach??? Suz

  16. Oh Shanda!  I know too well the overwhelming feelings that you describe.  I am praying for you dear friend.  The story of Grace and the kitty is precious- and perfect timing!

  17. I just wanted to encourage you to read a new book that is out Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. I really have not free time so have been reading it in the restroom. Right before bed. In the tub when my back was out etc. It is really encouraging with a lot of scripture in it….

  18. The pictures are beautiful…as always.  I don’t homeschool my children and fight those same discouraged feelings all the time.  At least you cooked them a meal instead of ordering healthless food like I did last night.
    The story of Gracie made me cry.  Happy tears.

  19. Thank You God for the letter Shanda NEEDED to arrive today. Yes dear friend, in the areas the at really matter, you are doing a MARVELOUS job! Your family is blessed and thriving. Dishes and cleaning…they never end ~Time for Momma to have a get away and be refreshed. Seriously I don’t know how you do it. I’m a wimp when it comes to parenting, since I only had one child to raise and home-school, and I would have day of being overwhelmed.The Lord is your strength, lean on Him, cry out to Him…go take a hot shower and listen for His voice.with much love, Mary

  20. …..how sweet the sound!!! She is yours….so is He. He will help you through these years…remember they are His too. He knows your feelings of being overwhelmed and His grace will see you through. The times I felt the most overwhelmed was when I put pressure on myself to keep up with what I thought others would expect of me. When I talked to the Lord about it, He told me that I only needed to “impress Him.” with my faithfulness. “Do your best…that is all I require.” It was only then that stopped fretting as much and went at the pace that was manageable for me. He beautifully overcompensated for my weaknesses and incompetency. All the while my goal was to be a better mother than school teacher. If my children did not like their mother….there was no way that they were going to like their teacher. Keep up the good work…and take a break when you need one. What a precious story about Grace and the kitten…I love seeing her small hand holding the card. Love you!!

  21. Yes, I know there are always more things to learn when schooling your children.   Overwhelming is an understatement as far as I’m concerned.  People always say that’s great that you can homeschool, but I can’t do it because……(insert any number of reasons)  The thing is I can’t homeschool these kids either. I am not a braniac nor do I really care about all the countries in Africa.  (just being honest) I do care though that my kids know who made the countries in Africa.  I don’t believe God wanted us to compete against one another in regards to knowledge of his creation.  He wanted us to look at his creation and learn more about him through it.  If it is not done with that intention it is done in vain.  I am being convicted myself as I write….What of these expectations that we have on ourselves are ones our father thinks of as daily priorities?  I  often wonder that.  I get so frusturated somedays.  Public school sounds real tempting…. Then I remember the real reason I homeschool…Jesus….He called me to do this….Somedays i wish I would have never picked up the phone, but the many other days I am so thankful I get to see every aspect of my child….Thanks for being so open with your heart…Cara

  22. I like the speedlight!  It looks like it is a handy tool to have!  If I was in your shoes Shan I KNOW I would get stressed.  It’s hard sometimes when your overwhelmed to turn your thoughts and heart over to God and positive things.  But if you truly do hand it over to God He does give you a fresh and positive perspective on things–a TRUE perspective.  Keep pressing on and there is nothing wrong with a melt down.  I know that I’ve been doing better since the last time we shared that depressing week but I still have my moments and days.  Its brown and gray outside and just blah sometimes and sometimes that seeps into our mind and effects our days.  Let God SHINE through you!  Love you lots!  a big HUG to you!

  23. I know that you do so much and it can be overwhelming at times. Just take one moment, one day, at a time. It’s ok to let the dishes go for a night or leave your ponytail out on the desk. You are doing an amazing job. How sweet that you received that card today in the mail. God wanted to see you smile and warm your heart. πŸ™‚

  24. Great pictures.  I am having fun with my new flash.  Did you know, that just like you can angle it to the ceiling, you push the same button and turn it sideways?
    I loved the note you got about the cat.  Imagine how much we could encourage each other if we always took time to send notes like that.

  25. LOL! I’m sorry Shanda but I had to laugh(at your expense!?) about having NO DOUGH! and Yay, another pot to wash!! I have so btdt. But you know, you’re making memories when it’s fun for them…..THEM! I know it’s not fun for you, but my kids remember the interesting things like games and projects. Easy-planned textbook work? nah.
    I also know all about being overwhelmed. ALL about it! Sorry I don’t have more sage advice except pray, rely on God , breathe,–and it really looks like He IS taking care of you through that wonderful husband, friends, and other encouragement. You need to know you’re doing a great job!
    Also remember housework will always be there. sometimes, you can serve pasta days on end((for me it’s oatmeal and my boys loved it)and the dishes will be left. And laundry. People are whats’ important.
    Take courage, friend!
    ~Christal

  26. Love the story of the card.  Isn’t God good?  Just when you needed something to smile about.  Dear sister, all I can say is, enjoy your little ones while they are little.  It is hard…in fact, impossible!  But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Apart from him, we can do nothing!  But your children are growing very fast!  Pretty soon, they’ll be too busy to even stop for a lap sit.  Let the house go…and even the schooling sometimes if need be (names of African countries??? dough animals???).  Just hug them and love them and make sure they know about the Lord.  God bless you!
    P.S. What’s a speedlight, LOL!?

  27. I know exactly how to make you feel better….. we can scream together!!! I too have days just like these, and the tears! Your so NOT alone girl. And africa… um yeah after 34 years I know nothing about it, it has countries? Who knew lol.  God always seems to send me a blessing by the end of days like these. What a blessing the phone call & that little card was with the cute kitty. God knew it was coming at just the right time. Saying a prayer for you for the rest of the week.
    Love T

  28. Praying for the Lord to refresh you!   I always think you are a wonder with homeschooling and all those precious faces you bless us with all the time.  You are doing a wonderful job….we can see the happiness (love todays photos)  My David said today ” I don’t like being an only child, I need to talk to Heidi and Alicia ( his sister in laws) and make a deal.”  I laughed and said, “so God didn’t tell you you had to give them up like he did me?’  He sighed and said, ” I know, but I could get them to come and stay for a week!”  He misses his brothers and so do I!  David was the one wrapped around his brothers necks when they were homeschooling.  I only had three but boy did I get overwhelmed.  I think keeping your eye on the prize is the best at this point.  The prize?  My grown boys love Jesus, are following Him ( along with their wives) and are active and serving.  That is the best fruit…..they have forgotten most of the Latin and Geography   And asking for grace….His grace (though yours is a blessing too).
    on a more practical note…..I found if I wrote up schedules for the boys…what they needed to do…they often could work away at things and I could do household things and play/care for David.  They would come and ask me for help…in the garden, changing a diaper, where ever!  Then when David was playing ( some things only came out during school, so they were special)  or napping I would work on the stuff they needed me to teach….and read alouds on the couch
    We do get to go to the mtns next week with Nick and Alicia…so snow for us and a brother for David.  I get to go away overnight Fri-Sat this week to  a Sally Clarkson conf. and be refreshed….”Seasons of a Mothers heart”…I loved that book and that is the theme this year!
    Praying everyone gets well too!  I found this quote in my notebook ” Women like to make sacrifices in one big piece to give God something grand, but we can’t.  Our lives are a mosaic of little things, like putting a rose in a vase on the table.”  Ingrid Trobisch   Keep working on your mosaic Shanda…it is beautiful! Jenny

  29. hmm.   you have many comments to help brighten your day here.   But does that stop me – I notice not    Believe it or not, all this busy-ness in the midst of busy-ness is what you need in your life right now (just trust me on that).  I can completely relate though. You are blessed with a pretty positive outlook in general, and know how to see the beauty in life.  You have a husband to go to for help and counsel.   Just keep doing the next right thing.

  30. I have no idea what a speedlight is!  πŸ™‚  But that precious card for Grace made me cry a second time today and it’s only 8:25!  LOL!  It’s so amazing how little things can so touch someone’s life.  But even more wonderful when you find out later that something you did touched someone.  I noticed Grace’s jeans right away…that they are the same design that my Emma has!  πŸ™‚  Shanda, it is understandable that you feel overwhelmed sometimes.  You have an awful lot on your plate.  And you are conscientious enough to want to do it all very well.  But it’s very difficult when you have little, little ones.  You can only do the best you can, with God’s grace.  They will never look back and think that you fed them the same meal twice or the dishes weren’t done enough.  They are going to remember how much time and attention you poured into them.  Which, of course, is LOVE to kids!  Be encouraged!  You are a great mom and wife!  And you are the precious daughter of the King of Kings!  πŸ™‚  And….SPRING is coming!  (That always helps!  LOL)  Have a wonderful, blessed day!

  31. I’m so glad the sunshine came out, and I love the Grace story. I don’t have kids yet, and I found myself saying something very similar the other day to my mom. It just never ends, you finish one load or one sink of dishes and there’s another to take its place. I’ve not figured out how to deal with that feeling yet, but I’m praying for an answer, and I’ll pray for you in the same way.

  32. Oh Thank you darling for the lovely pictures. You sweet home is the picture of what a Christian home should be. I am so glad that the bulbs are coming up. Remember to put them near sunlight when the bulbs start to form. My primroses are still making me happy. Oh how well I remember those golden days I barely recognized, when the laundry was part of the daily routine and sometimes I was so tired I could not think my own thoughts. That was when I started reading Amy Carmichael to let her verbalize my thoughts. I shall be forever grateful for that. Praying with fresh vigor this day for you. with love and blessings, Roseteacup

  33. I love that basket your bulbs are in!  I didn’t homeschool my children but I can remember being overwhelmed at times with home, work, church, activities, playing taxi in three different directions!  But you know what, now that the nest is empty and life is rather quiet,  there are days when I’d love to go back to that busyness!!  Honest! (((HUGS))) to you!

  34. Well I shall try again as this did nor record it before. What a sweet sweet home. I have sent you a personal message of encouragement, but for now these pictures tell a thousand words of wondrous love and grace (and Grace).

  35. As always I’m struggling to know why you’re on my mind so much unless it’s a reminder to pray for you.  Have you ever thought of NOT home schooling?  God made you a mother.  If you crack under the terrible burdens of all you do, what does that do to your precious children?  God gave us teachers to teach; ministers to minister and lead us; people in positions of service to do things to free us to do what our important task is.  Your task as a mother is to love, take care of, and rear your children in a loving home.  It’s not a command to do every single thing in their lives by yourself.  Please think on these things.  You may want to block me after this, and that’s okay, but I feel it was something I needed to say.

  36. What a beautiful story.  I so enjoy the photos you post.  Hang in there with everything you’ve got on your plate.  You’re doing an amazing job… just look at those kids smiling!

  37. I have a rocking recliner, similar to yours, that I pull out into the hall at night to have family worship and read to help the kids go to sleep while I rock my youngest one. My husband has to commute and usually gets home after they are asleep. They get to see him in the morning though… I truly understand how you feel. The hardest part of homeschooling is that they are all in different grades. So instead of doing 3 subjects a day…I have to do 3 times 3. I have found a system that works for me. Math and English have so many lessons that we are doing them and Reading first. When we get those done we will do the rest of the subjects. I think I will have to homeschool all year around now to get it all done. My oldest, Nehemiah, is in 5th grade and can now study on his own, for the most part, unless he doesn’t understand it. My second oldest, Hannah is in 3rd grade and after we read the lesson together, she can do the worksheets herself. Josiah, is taking the most of my time right now because he is learning to read. It sure helps when they can read directions themselves. We do the hardest subject in the morning which happens to be math for my two oldest. With Josiah I do reading first. My two youngest usually watch a video and or play in the family room while Nemo starts his math upstairs where it’s quiet, and I get Hannah started. Then she goes up to her room to finish while I work with Josiah. By the time I am done and corrections have been made it’s usually lunchtime. After lunch, Nemo goes upstairs to do his social studies and Hannah, her reading. I take my youngest upstairs to rock to sleep for his nap while Josiah and Lydia play in the family room. After I get Jeremiah to sleep, I come down to the middle floor to work with Josiah on his phonics, (3 levels-family room is the first level). After working with Josiah and catching up on correcting, it is almost time for English for Nemo and Hannah-Math for Josiah. I use Rod and Staff for all my other subjects besides Math which is Saxon. Their English has so much to do…that we do most of the book work orally, and then they do a worksheet on their own. How do I get them to do their work? Every time they complete a subject they earn 15 min. on the computer unless they have lost it for fighting:) We have a security protection on our computer and they all keep an eye on each other. So they get breaks in between subjects but I have to continue working with the next one and so on until after lunch. When I rock Jeremiah to sleep I get a break and can just rest or read a book. After school it is usually dinner time. I miss the summer because then we can get outside more…eat lunch out on the deck…do school outside…keep the windows open all day…When it snows,(which has only happened twice so far…we take the day off from school to play. Saturdays we take the kids to swim lessons and Sundays to church. That is my life…school, swimming, and church. Though it is very hard…I wouldn’t trade it for any other 9-5 job and I’ve had several in the past. When do I have time to clean? Well we manage to keep a load of clothes in the washer and dryer each day and I do NOT fold clothes! They have baskets and since most of their clothes are cotton they don’t wrinkle. My kids take turns sorting the laundry from the dryer into separate baskets and then they haul them up to their rooms to sort into more baskets. Who has time to fold clothes? Well not me…I have to take shortcuts wherever I can. Paper plates and cups we use a lot, dishes soak in sink for a couple days till I run the dishwasher, dinners are healthy and simple with as many pre-made things I can find that are healthy. Just recently I figured out how to get them to clean up the family room. Before dinner they are too cranky…so after dinner…if they want desert…they clean it up and help me clean the kitchen. Josiah, who is 6 does a great job of unloading the dishwasher. After everything necessary is picked up we have desert. When my bathrooms, carpets, mopping floors, windows,… get to dirty, I take a day off to deep clean. When do I get time to myself? At night after they are asleep, I can relax and soak up the quietness. We run it sort of like they used to in a one room schoolhouse. The older kids help the younger with whatever I can’t. I know this is long…but I hope it helps to know you are not alone. I have had to simplify and eliminate anything that is not necessary and I take shortcuts whenever I can. -Kathryn

  38. hmm.. i always come upon these posts after everyone’s already expressed what i wanted to say! πŸ˜‰ it should uplift your heart to see how loved you are! and it’s obvious why… b/cause you GIVE love. even when you don’t feel like ~ which is the greatest love of all – sacrificial. your life is a blessing ~ and i’m enjoying getting to know about it. :)thanks for the reality check for REALness – we all have those days… but often our pride keeps us from admitting as much. i admire your humility…

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